BUDGET: Trucking gets $28m boost for rest areas

Budget allocates $28 million for heavy vehicle roadside facilities, but no word on whether funding will be extended beyond 2012

May 11, 2011

The Federal Government will spend $28 million on heavy vehicle rest stops and roadside facilities across Australia next financial year, but there is no word on whether funding will be extended beyond 2012.

The 2011-2012 Federal Budget, handed down yesterday, allocates $7.1 million to NSW, with Victoria securing $6.5 million. Queensland will receive $5.6 million, while the Federal Government has allocated $5 million to South Australia.

Another $2.5 million will be spent in Western Australia. Tasmania will be given $700,000. The ACT has missed out on funding, but the Northern Territory has been promised $600,000.

The Budget papers list no extra funding beyond next financial year, and a spokesman for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says a decision on rest area funding will be made in the next Budget.

He says the funds are drawn from the $70 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program announced back 2008. It was established to fund rest areas, parking and decoupling bays and road upgrades over a four-year period.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed the investment in rest areas.

"Australia’s truck drivers are required to take breaks to manage their fatigue. It’s essential they have somewhere to stop," ATA CEO Stuart St Clair says.

The Budget has also allocated $74.5 million to fixing 292 black spots on local roads.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says the nation’s 565 local councils will continue to share in a pool of funds to help them maintain and upgrade their roads.

"Over the coming 12 months they will share in $1 billion," Albanese says.

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